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Vigil for the murders of Mexican students

By admin | February 9, 2010

Press Release

International Candlelight Vigil for the Victims of Drug War Violence

Victoria, BC
February 11, 2009 – An international group of students working to end the war on drugs will gather tonight at 5:30pm as part of a global protest to the escalating drug war violence in Mexico and around the world.

WHO: Hempology 101 & Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy (CSSDP)
WHAT: Candlelight Vigil for Mexico Drug War Victims
WHERE: BC Courthouse, 850 Burdett Ave Victoria BC
WHEN: February 11, 2010 5:30PM

Despite a heavy military presence in the city of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, thousands of people were murdered in 2009. Recently, 14 students were gunned down and killed, and 17 more were critically injured, by gangsters during a house party celebrating a high school soccer victory.

People will gather for a candle light vigil, as well as speeches and poems from local youth and students on the impact of national and global drug policies that fuel this violence. This vigil is one of dozens simultaneously occurring around the world, including Mexico City, Washington D.C., El Paso, London, and Bogotá.

“The criminal prohibition of drugs has fuelled the violence claiming innocent lives in Mexico, Canada, and around the world,” says Caleb Chepesiuk, director of Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy (CSSDP). “We must acknowledge the harms Canada’s drug policy creates around the world and here at home. Lives are being lost, not only to violence but also to lack of treatment and harm reduction services.”

“The violence in Mexico can not be ignored any longer. Drug cartels are terrorizing the country and becoming more powerful than the Mexican government,” said Jonathan Perri, Outreach Director with SSDP’s office in San Francisco.

CSSDP is a national grassroots student and youth run organization that is concerned with the reliance on the criminal justice system in Canadian drug policy.

For more information contact:

Kristen Mann
office: 250.381.4220

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico — Suspected drug hitmen burst into a party and killed 14 high school students, in Ciudad Juarez on Sunday, the latest massacre in one of the world’s deadliest cities, the Mexican army said.

Gunmen jumped out of sport utility vehicles and fired at the students, who were celebrating victory in a local American football championship, in a house in the city across the border from El Paso, Texas, in the early hours of Sunday.

Pools of blood collected in the street outside the house.

“The men drove up in SUVs, they were well-armed. They went into the house and shot at everyone, you could hear the gunfire all around,” a neighbor at the scene said.

Army spokesman Enrique Torres said the victims were between 15 and 20 years old, and an additional 17 party-goers were wounded in the shooting, some critically.

“They were about 15 men, they closed off the surrounding streets and began shooting at the house as they moved inside,” Mr. Torres said.

It was not immediately clear why the gunmen attacked the students. But drug hitmen have attacked parties in the city, searching for rivals, while police have reported that some teenagers have been involved in kidnapping others.

Ciudad Juarez is the bloodiest city in Mexico’s drug war as rival cartels fight over markets and control of smuggling routes into the United States.

Violence is escalating even as federal police and soldiers patrol the streets. Some 2,650 people were killed in drug violence in Ciudad Juarez last year and cartel murders have jumped since the start of 2010.

In some of the worst attacks, gunmen have stormed at least seven drug rehabilitation clinics in the manufacturing city over the past two years, targeting rival dealers. Two strikes in September killed 28 people.

Mexico is the key transit route for U.S.-bound cocaine from South America and a top producer of marijuana and heroin.

A military crackdown on rival cartels in Mexico has fueled a surge in drug violence that has killed more than
© Thomson Reuters 2010

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